Labels, Packaging and Design

Knowing When It’s Time to Innovate Your Product Packaging

Lots of products and brands out there have tons of loyal fans who keep coming back for more, sometimes for their whole lives. They know the stuff is top-notch and love being able to stroll down the aisle, see that familiar packaging, and toss it into their basket. Keeping those loyal customers is undoubtedly important for any product. However, sticking with the same old packaging forever doesn’t help you grow or stand out. Competition’s fierce these days, with new players entering the game and trends changing all the time. Did you know that according to Westrock, 52% of consumers have changed the brands they buy due to new packaging designs? So how can you strike a balance between delivering what’s familiar to your customers and standing out in the food and beverage marketplace? When is it time to innovate your packaging and what does that look like? Read on for our ideas.

Why innovate your packaging?

We all know the difference that packaging makes at the retail level. How it feels, looks, and grabs attention factors big-time into being chosen by consumers. In fact, Ipsos tells us that a full 72% of American shoppers admit that a package significantly influences their decision to buy or not.

Innovative package design is all about making your product pop on the shelves among a sea of competitors. Every little detail counts, from the colours and shapes to the logos and textures. For example, what if you added a bit of fuzzy texture to your box? How much attention would that bit of tactile interactivity make to your bottom line?

How innovating can be risky

Of course, changing things up too much can be risky. People spend years getting used to a brand’s look, so you have to tread carefully.

Consider the case of Tropicana. This veteran orange juice company sunk millions of dollars into a rebrand that removed their iconic orange from the design. When it hit the grocery store shelves, sales fell off a cliff. The company had to revert to their old packaging. Customers definitely missed seeing that orange! The rebrand strayed way too far from what was familiar and beloved about the original design, and that cost Tropicana dearly. Ouch.

How to strike a balance

We know you don’t want to end up experiencing what Tropicana did. Still, small tweaks with bold messages can catch consumers’ eyes, especially if it addresses their concerns or interests.

innovate-your-packaging-label-on pouch

Here are a few examples:

  • “New Look” to let customers know it’s still the same great product, just with a fresh vibe.
  • “Easy-Open Packaging” for folks tired of struggling with the old design.
  • “Eco-Friendly Packaging” to show environmentally conscious shoppers that you’re on their level.

Other cool packaging tricks include using tactile finishes or eye-catching gloss, changing the size of windows, or changing up the box structure for more visibility. With these changes, you’re not reinventing the wheel…you’re just putting some air in the tire.


So…is it time?

When it comes down to it, ask yourself:

  1. Does our packaging actually do its job well?
  2. Can customers spot my product easily?
  3. Does the packaging reflect the quality inside?
  4. Does it take every opportunity to address our customers’ concerns or interests?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, feel free to reach out and talk about how you can strike the right balance. As packaging experts, we know how important—and challenging—balancing familiarity to innovate your packaging. Rest assured that it’s doable with the right strategy!


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